I’m glad Moonwake is more than a brewery because, frankly, I’m not sure how to review a brewery.
How about this? I’m yet to find a Moonwake beer that I don’t like.
I think that sounds better than any attempt I might make at rocking up at their warehouse in Leith, one that (I believe) replaces the old garage, and being impressed. I also note there’s a lot less street mess outside in the street, the one around the corner from Mal Maison, now that the unit is run by Moonwake.
Why was I impressed? Not just because it’s clean, but because it’s modern. A wee sign by the door reassures you that you can go inside, even though the reception area tends to be empty. I’ve been there during a market event, and they had the big double doors open, booths with traders there and the shiny metal brewery vats on display. Perhaps I’m easily impressed, but I thought that looked great.
Otherwise, you head up the stairs and into the taproom. That’s a mezzanine floor, and you can look over the edge to that very shame shiny metal vats, tanks, pipes and plumbing. It looks even better!
It’s not warm, not even with the heat lamps. However, pick a heat lamp, wear a sensible coat, and you’ll be fine. It only really bothered me in the dead of winter, on my first trip and when I wasn’t expecting it.
Moonwake has a few reasonably large tables on their brewery viewing platform and a small bar at the back. There are codes on the table to summon menus and order beers.
I love this, and I hope that features like this persist in the post-pandemic world (a state I hope we achieve).
Needless to say, you get the full range of Moonwake’s tasty beers here, and they’re fresh. Looking for someone else’s booze? Yeah, you’re probably better off going to a pub for that, although Moonwake seems to be a pretty generous member of the indie brewing scene.
It gets better. You can get Pizza Geeks here. The pizza place has a Tardis around the corner. Firstly, you need the Pizza Geek app on your phone, use it to do an “at the table” order, and you should find Moonwake’s tables in their system as “their table” (rather than a delivery).
I’ve done this twice, great pizza with great beer, and this combo is one of my main reasons for hitting up the taproom rather than going to one of the many excellent Leith pubs nearby. It only gets complicated when Pizza Geeks are busy and turns off their system.
It gets even better; Moonwake also does social events. I had pancakes from a van outside when Piece Box was a guest.
I recommend following Moonwake on social media, so you stay in the event loop, as the brewery is good at the whole community management thing.
It’s the atmosphere that lures me back to Moonwake. They’re such a friendly crowd.
I plunk my ass down at a table or even at the bar and chat.
Yeah, I’ve become one of those old guys who prop up bars and offer their unsolicited pearls of unwisdom. I only seem to do this at Moonwake, though, ergo I conclude it’s not entirely my fault; it must be shared their crew, and it must be because they’re fun, friendly and sociable.
For the right sort of friends, people interested in craft brewing, indie companies, community projects or even clever use of urban spaces, I’d make a trip to Moonwake a feature of the day. I’m not sure I’d make it a whole day event. It’s not a large enough venue to tour; you can see the public part of the brewery from the taproom, and that’s all you need to do. You can certainly make it a beer and pizza lunch or dinner, Pizza Geeks allowing. You absolutely can make it a post-dinner or pre-dinner drink in Leith or even a dinner in Leith.
For almost all friends, I’d keep an eye on Moonwake’s social media and when they do (which I hope they do), another “use our space as a venue” market or something like that, I’d recommend it as an excuse to meet up.
An indie brewery tucked away on the docks outskirts of Leith and a level-up for the area, despite the Shore already being a great location.
I absolutely recommend the beer and taproom.
For me, though, it’s the combination of beer plus something else. That something else can be an event or pizza.